Are Greyhounds Good Family Dogs? – Everything you Need to Know

are greyhounds good family pets

So you’ve read about Greyhounds, seen them at shows, and decided that you want to adopt one. Should be simple, right?

Greyhounds are usually calm and reserved. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. How do you know if a Greyhound is right for your family?

Greyhounds are a diverse breed. Most can make great family dogs, while others are not suitable for life with children or other pets.

If you have the time, space, and take care in adopting your Greyhound, they can become part of your family with little effort.

Below, we’ll look at what makes Greyhounds good for your family, as well as why they might not make a good fit. We’ll look at their breed characteristics as well as their attitudes to animals and children.

Are Greyhounds Good for Families?

Greyhounds are as variable as humans in personality. Though their breed traits can make them ideal family dogs, some characteristics raise concerns.

Of course, it’s important to note that whether a dog will fit with your family is largely dependent on the dog.

Overall, the answer is yes. Greyhounds are good for families under the right circumstances. Let’s look at some reasons why they make good family dogs and some reasons that they are not.

5 Reasons Greyhounds Are Good Family Dogs

1. They are Gentle and Affectionate.

Most Greyhounds are gentle, affectionate dogs. They are laid back and want nothing more than to hang out with you. Plus, they love to cuddle.

2. They are Rarely Aggressive.

Greyhounds usually don’t snap at children who are aggravating them. They just aren’t aggressive in that way most of the time.

3. They are Extremely Adaptable.

Greyhounds have the remarkable ability to adapt to just about any lifestyle. Some lifestyles are healthier for them, but you’ll find less resistance from a newly-adopted Grey when it comes to your routine.

4. They are Usually Vetted Well.

Rescue agencies and adoptions are the main sources of Greyhounds. Since they are usually adopted out as adults, these shelters vet the dogs extensively.

They do tests to make sure that the dogs are good with cats, other dogs, and even children. You can choose a dog that is great with whatever family composition you have.

5. They Can Be Goofy.

Besides being a constant, gentle companion, Greyhounds can be goofy. As they grow away from the racing life, their personalities come out. You may find that a Greyhound fits in perfectly with your silly, dramatic family.

5 Reasons Greyhounds are NOT Good Family Dogs

1. They are Extremely Fast.

Greyhounds can be stubborn. They are also amazingly fast. This means that they might take off on you during walks. They can pull your children over if they are determined. It’s not a good idea to let your kids walk this dog.

2. They Can Be Aloof.

Greyhounds are calm and easygoing. While this can be a benefit, it also means that they could have trouble bonding with your family.

A particularly aloof Greyhound may only bond to one person, who becomes their primary source of attention. This isn’t great if you want a dog that is smitten with the whole family.

3. You Can’t Get a Puppy.

If you want a dog for your family, sometimes raising a puppy is best. However, very few Greyhound puppies are available. Most are raised to race and only become adaptable as adults (after their racing careers are over).

4. They May Not Be Socialized Well.

Due to the nature of their upbringing, most Greyhounds are only socialized with other Greyhounds. This means that other dog breeds, cats, and kids may be foreign to them. It might take them a while to get used to them (if they ever do).

5. They Need Special Care.

Greyhounds are lean, short-coated dogs. They have longer legs that will need protection, as well as extremely low body fat. If you aren’t the type of family who can put a coat on a dog during the winter, the Greyhound may not be for you.

Greyhound Breed Characteristics

The characteristics of the breed can often be a huge determining factor for your family. You should aim to choose a breed that fits with your family.

Some dogs aren’t a good fit for some lifestyles, and trying to fit them into a lifestyle they aren’t made for can be harmful to them.

For that reason, take these Greyhound characteristics into account before adopting a Grey.

Greyhound Maintenance

Greyhounds don’t require a lot of maintenance. They have a smooth, short coat that requires minimal brushing and bathing.

Their nails do grow long, and if your Grey isn’t out in gravel or on sidewalks, you’ll need to clip them often.
They can shed quite a lot. Brushing them often (sometimes daily) can keep your furniture and carpets fur-free.

Greyhounds are prone to teeth problems, so responsible Greyhound owners should brush their teeth regularly. This is easily done if the Greyhound is used to having their teeth brushed.

Greyhound Trainability

Greyhounds are intelligent, but they are also stubborn. They are easy to train if you have their trust. Unfortunately, that stubborn streak often does more harm than good.

They will sometimes do what they feel is best. This means that, with a particularly independent Grey, you might need to have patience during training.

However, dogs that have previously been racing dogs should have no trouble with additional training, if you are patient and kind with them.

Greyhound Exercise Needs

A common misconception is that Greyhounds require lots of exercise. This is simply not the case. They can be energetic, but most don’t necessarily need to run.

They like to, and they can. But many Greyhounds are couch potatoes that just need a few daily walks.
Of course, it’s still great to give your Greyhound as much exercise as possible.

A fenced yard with room to run is ideal. Greyhounds may be laid back, but they aren’t well-suited to sedentary lifestyles.

Greyhound Diet Needs

Greyhounds may require human food additives, as they require more protein than other dogs their size. They might eat more than other dogs in their weight range, as they require higher calories.

Choose foods that have a higher calorie and protein content for them.

This may require more work than simply buying dry dog food. Keeping your Greyhound happy nutritionally is important to their overall health.

Greyhound Attention Needs

Greyhounds are ‘velcro dogs’. With some people, they can be aloof. With others, they will never leave their side.

Greyhounds often bond to a single person (usually the one who takes the most care of them). This person will likely have a Greyhound attached to them no matter where in the house they go.

They also love affection and need a lot of attention to feel fulfilled. Even if that attention is just cuddling on the couch, they appreciate it.

Are Greyhounds Aggressive?

Greyhounds are usually not aggressive. They are usually calm, docile, and can even be affectionate with their bonded person or family. Greyhounds can become agitated, like all dogs.

However, aggression is not usually in its nature if it isn’t provoked.

Greyhounds who have been mistreated may become agitated or frightened quickly. Each dog is different, so take note if your dog seems sensitive to sudden movements or loud noises.

Still, most Greyhounds are calm, gentle, and even aloof. Aggressiveness is not unheard of, but it is normally rare.

Check out this related article: Do Greyhounds Need a Companion? – Should You Get a Second Dog?

Getting Along with Your Family

One of the chief worries that most new Greyhound owners have is how the new dog will get along with their existing family.

You want to make sure that your kids and pets are safe, and that the Greyhound with integrate with the family.

Thankfully, Greyhounds are generally not overly aggressive or confrontational. They’d usually rather remove themselves from situations where they are uncomfortable rather than become confrontational.

Are Greyhounds Kid-Friendly?

For the most part, Greyhounds are great with kids. They are laid back and easygoing, though they may not tolerate younger children well.

They aren’t going to snap at your younger kids, but they are a large breed.
Some rescues recommend that you not have any children younger than 8 when adopting a Greyhound.

The GRA of Central Florida even has a policy against adopting to families with small kids -I and they aren’t the only one.

While Greyhounds aren’t aggressive, they usually have not been socialized with children.

Most Greyhounds are raised for racing, so a potential pet is more likely to have come in contact with cats and other dogs than children.

If you can teach your children how best to treat the dog and understand the patience required, a Greyhound can be great with your kids. They might even become your child’s new best friend.

Do Greyhounds Get Along with Cats?

Greyhounds can get along with cats, but it depends on the dog. Since Greyhounds are sight-hunters, they have a strong instinct to chase smaller animals on sight.

Experts recommend keeping your cats and Greyhound separated at first. Until you can make sure that your Greyhound doesn’t have a strong prey drive, it’s best to never leave them alone together in the same space.

That said, Greyhounds who are socialized with cats from a young age should be fine with cats.

Additionally, some rescues perform cat-testing on adoptable dogs to determine which dogs are okay to go to families with cats.

Quad Cities Greyhound Adoption is one of many agencies that work with Greyhounds to ensure that your cats are safe.

Do Greyhounds Get Along with Other Dogs?

Generally, Greyhounds get along fine with other dogs. They are raised in an environment where they are socialized with other dogs most of the time.

However, this isn’t always the case. You have to be aware of how your Greyhound was raised.

As with kids and cats, adoptions should test whether each of their dogs would be good with other dogs.

This isn’t always a concern, because Greyhounds are so laid back they can get along with most other dogs just fine.
Still, some smaller dogs may trigger their sight-hound hunting instinct.

This can lead to catastrophic results. Make sure to ask the adoption agency before taking a Greyhound home, especially if you have a smaller dog.

Are Greyhounds Good Guard Dogs?

Greyhounds do not make good guard dogs. While they are larger, they are not overly aggressive toward people. This means that they aren’t going to bark when people come to the door.

They won’t attack someone who is harassing your family.

If you are considering getting a Greyhound for this purpose, know that they would likely fail.

Greyhounds are too calm and laid back to make good guard dogs, even for the person they are bonded to.

How to Add a Greyhound to the Family

Before adding a Greyhound to your family, it’s important to consider the dog itself. You may have questions about whether the dog will get along with your family members and other pets.

However, you also must ask yourself if you’re willing to take on the responsibility of another do.

Greyhounds are generally low-maintenance dogs. Still, adding a dog (or another dog) to your household can create problems. Before adopting, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I ready for a dog on a financial level?
  • Do I have space for a Greyhound?
  • How will my other pets react?
  • Do I need to worry about my cats or small animals around a Greyhound?
  • Can I handle the problems that could arise from getting a dog?
  • Do I have the energy or time for a dog/another dog?
  • Am I home enough to give a Greyhound the attention they need?
  • Am I prepared to adopt a Greyhound?
  • Do I have the funds to purchase from a reputable breeder?

These are all important considerations before adopting a Greyhound. You have to think about the environment you can provide, the funds you’ll need, and other concerns.

Always be prepared for things to go wrong when you bring a new animal into your family.

Though Greyhounds are usually low-risk adoptions, it’s still important to examine your intentions from every angle.

Pros and Cons of Adding a Greyhound to the Family

Finally, let’s look at the pros and cons of adopting a Greyhound for your family. While you may have figured some of these out from the information presented previously, it’s good to keep these considerations in mind before adoption.


  • There is a Greyhound for every family, due to the vast differences in their personalities and energy levels.
  • They are affectionate companions who love to be in your company.
  • They can be good with your kids, other dogs, and even other Greyhounds.
  • You will likely be adopting an ex-racing dog who is disciplined and well-trained
  • Greyhounds are calm, graceful, and easy to care for.


  • Greyhounds cannot be walked without a leash.
  • If your Greyhound takes off, you likely won’t be able to catch them. They are nearly as fast as cheetahs at a full run.
  • Independent natures mean they may be stubborn at first.
  • Some Greyhounds may not be suitable for households with cats or small dogs.
  • Greyhounds can be great with kids but are not recommended for children under the age of 8.


Greyhounds can be good family dogs, but there may be some problems. As always, how well a dog adapts to your family situation depends on the dog’s personality, its history, and how well its needs are met by your family.

Beware of bringing a Greyhound that isn’t cat-tested into your home with a cat. Otherwise, they seem to make good family dogs on a general basis.

Related Questions

Can a Greyhound be Left Alone?

Greyhounds can be left alone, but not for long periods. If you must leave your greyhound alone for longer than 8 hours, rescues like the Greyhound Friends of New Jersey, Inc. recommend hiring someone to walk or care for your Greyhound while you are at work.

Do Greyhounds Bond with One Person?

Greyhounds can be extremely affectionate dogs, though they are more likely to bond with a single owner. This is probably the one that feeds them, gives them treats, and spends the most time with them.

They have been known to bond with families, and special care should be given to give Greyhounds equal attention from each family member to create a family bond.


Hi, I'm the owner of Juniper Pets! You can often find me playing fetch with my dogs, working out or cooking up something legendary in the kitchen. Hope you enjoy my blog!

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